Future-proofing streaming

I have been a very happy user of a Firestick for many years, especially as I managed to turn off updates in time on my 4k Max. I need another couple of streaming device ps but the recent announcement by Amazon has made me consider moving to a non-Amazon device. But Google’s recent announcement I think means that both Amazon and Google are intent on preventing us sideloading apps and restricting us to use only what is in their app stores. There may not be work-arounds to their changes.
I think this means a move to an Android TV device. In Troypoint’s review of the best Android :robot: devices TV boxes in 2024 there is only one in the budget friendly section that does not use either Google TV or Fire OS - Xiaomi stick - but that is no longer available on Amazon. The alternatives are in the premium section - wonderful devices with impressive specs but more than I need and expensive if you need more than one.
Can anyone suggest a device running Android TV 11 with a more modest spec and at a more affordable price? I think my only main requirements are that the supplier provides updates and the remote works well.
Thanks in anticipation.

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Walmart 20US Onn box works excellent and is waaaayyyy better than a FS imho

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ONN 4K works great. If you want to get away from Amazon and Google look at the cheap Chinese boxes that have Stock Android. The T95Z Plus boxes have worked out fantastic for me. I have 2 that are 6 years old still chugging along fine and I never turn them off or do any type of maintenance on them.

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I would also suggest the latest ONN box from walmart and leave the sticks alone as they have more issues and I think are discontinued. Now that is for android-tv. If you want toi go off-grid get a stock box as @MarkxG has suggested and preferably with amlogic x4/4gb ram.

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Walmart ONN.
Gen 1 came with Android TV 11 and now has update to 12 available.
Gen 2 comes with Android TV 12
Excellent box for the price.

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Am I missing something here? I am sure many folk know a lot more than me about these operating systems but looking up the device on the Walmart website it says that the ONN device’s operating system is Google TV. I am ,oozing for a device that runs Android TV and is not dependent on Google TV.
Apologies if I have misunderstood - for those who know better please enlighten me.

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No you haven’t misunderstood.The wal-mart onn boxes run google tv.It sounds to me like you are looking at boxes like MarkG and Txron mentioned.The t95z etc.

Here is a listing on amazon for those particular devices.They aren’t tied to google or amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=4gb+android+tv+box&crid=3U2G48G5MUGQY&sprefix=4gb+android%2Caps%2C211&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_4_11

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Entirely satisfied with the Formuler z11 Max Pro for home and the ONN 4k in my travel bag for hotels. That Formuler was my Best Buy of 2023. It’s perfect.

Ugoos X4 models get great reviews. Stock Android. Around $100. 4gb RAM comes with choices of 32, 64 or 128 storage. Search on YouTube brings glowing reviews from all reviewers, including TV Box Stop and Chigz. I don’t own one…yet, but soon?

Do you use netflix, prime video? On stock android these most likely will just play in sd video.

No I don’t use either of these, or Disney etc. And I am not wanting a stock Android box but one running Android TV.

Ok i get ya. Any reason why android tv and not google tv?

As I said in my original post it seems that Google may be taking steps to stop people like us sideloading apps which aren’t in their App Store, using Android TV avoids that potential problem.

Unfortunately, most cord cutters do not know or understand this. That is what Bezos and Pichai are counting on.

Cancelling the underground market through attrition.

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I do foresee both Amazon and Google removing sideload capabilities from their devices in the future.

I’m regards to finding an alternative device, along with your criteria of Android TV OS and budget friendly, I don’t know of many devices (certified devices) that meet these standards.

Certainly stock android devices will work, but again that is something you don’t desire, but unfortunately I think that is the only viable option at this point in time in regards to budget friendly Android TV.

Many thanks for this info. My own researches failed to find certified budget friendly Android TV boxes too.
In Troypoint’s article he advises against stock Android for various reasons which seem sensible, although I’m sure many have had good experiences using them.
I think my best bet looks like one of the cheaper Buzz TV boxes, not all that budget friendly but not premium priced either. And I’ll continue to use my 4K Max until it stops working!

I could be wrong but the only advantage I see with a certified box is being able to run Netflix. If you use KODI or Stremio there is no need for Netflix, thus no need for a certified box IMO

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Long live the “underground” market!

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Is Netflix the only difference with the certified boxes ?